Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (18 December) on the death of Russian human rights activist and winner of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Arseni Roginski:
I was greatly saddened by the news of Arseni Roginski’s death. Like no other, Arseni Roginksi embodies the past and present of the Russian civil rights movement. He was a political intellectual, renowned historian and a passionate human rights activist whose life’s work was devoted to the fight for pluralism and against the dangers of nationalism – both of which are aims that have lost none of their urgency in our societies today.
As a founding member of the Memorial society, which is committed to human rights and to addressing the history of Stalinism, Arseni Roginski not only built up a European network for independent historical analysis, but also made a major contribution to deepening relations between the civil societies of Germany and Russia. In 2010, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his work.
His warm-heartedness, sense of irony and modesty will be remembered by all who knew him personally.
The Federal Government will continue to support Memorial and other human rights organisations that are working, as Arseni Roginski did, to ensure that those who are persecuted and discriminated against have a voice.